Teen terror in Banora
SHOTS have been fired at an elderly woman's house, shattering her windows, in an escalating campaign of violence and terror in Banora Point.
Roberta Cross said 'the daylights' were scared out of her when she heard a loud explosion and saw her front window in pieces.
“I could have been showered with glass,” Mrs Cross said.
She believes a group of unruly teenagers used an air rifle to take the large windows out and thanks her lucky stars that she wasn't sitting near the window at the time.
Mrs Cross' experience is just the latest in a series of shocking crimes carried out by teens in Banora Point.
At the hands of the youths, residents have had faeces smeared on their cars, letterboxes blown up, windows smashed, garage doors graffitied and pot plants stolen.
Many say they are too frightened to speak publicly about the attacks and some have even refused to call the police for fear of reprisal.
But Member for Tweed Geoff Provest says its time for the people to “reclaim the streets”.
“I know there is a great deal of fear in the community when it comes to reporting these crimes,” Mr Provest said.
“But if people want to bring their concerns to me, through my office, then I will pass them on to police.
“The more crime that is reported strengthens our case for more police.
“The community needs to stand up as one and take back control of the streets. We can do this.”
Mrs Cross, a pensioner, says she had to replace the large windows at the front of her house and now wants to increase her security.
“I heard this explosion and I thought 'Oh my God, what's happened?',” she said. “I'm sure it wasn't a rock - it was an explosion.
“It frightened the daylights out of me.”
Hearing laughter, she went to the front of the house and saw a group of teenagers running from the scene.
On further inspection, the 72-year-old discovered that each window had been smashed and believes they were shot with an air rifle.
“I don't think they realise how dangerous it is,” she said. “It is lucky I was sitting in a different room or I could have been showered with glass.”
Another Banora resident, Barbara Brown, has had faeces smeared on her car as part of a series of attacks on her home.
“Someone pooed on the front of the car and put faeces under the door handles,” Ms Brown said. “They think they're funny, but it's disgusting.”
She has also had her letterbox blown up, windows smashed, cars graffitied, fences kicked down and eggs thrown at her house.
“These kids think they are untouchable,” Ms Brown said. “They just sit around thinking up new ways to terrorise people.
“I ring the police every time something happens, but they don't even bother coming out any more.”
Mrs Cross said she too called the police after her windows were smashed, but they never attended.
“I did report it to the police and they said they'd send someone out to speak to me, but I really didn't expect them to, and they haven't,” she said.
Inspector Jim Kain of Tweed/Byron police told the Tweed Daily News he could find “no record” of the incident on the police database.
Crime Prevention Officer Senior Constable Andrew Eppelstun said teen crime was on the rise.
“There is a significant body of evidence there to suggest teenagers are committing more crime,” Snr Const Eppelstun said.
“And it will only get worse with the global financial crisis, these kids are going to come out of high school and go straight into unemployment.”
On Tuesday night, four Banora Point residents had their cars broken into.
While police encouraged residents to keep reporting crimes to them, Mr Provest said they could alternatively call his office and provide details anonymously.